Sunday, December 20, 2015

Unspeakable Joy

Well, the 16th - and the 18th - came and went and I'm still pregnant!

On Friday night, I was having contractions for about 6 hours when we headed into the hospital just after midnight (Sat morning)...   It turned out to be a horrible experience because they checked me and I was still only 1cm.  They wanted to give me a couple of hours and recheck, but I asked if I could just go home so I could get some sleep.  They agreed until they noticed the baby's heart rate was too low... they had me move around and it was still too low... so they ordered an ultrasound and it was the longest ultrasound I've ever had - literally.  She stared at the screen, wiggling my belly, with a concerned look on her face for over 20 minutes before she called for a second set of eyes and said "I'm not seeing any movement or tone."

She got off the phone and said she didn't want me to worry... hmmm...  yeah, no problem lady.  Low heart rate, unable to see movement, thought I was in labor and I'm not, hadn't felt the baby move much all day - yeah, I'm not worried at all...

I just said "Well, I guess I'm in the right place for this to be happening..."  but inside all I could think was I should just schedule a c-section and get this baby out before I lose it....

They sent me home an hour later telling me everything was fine... I didn't really believe it, but what choice did I have?  Not much.

We got home and in bed around 5am, I had been up all night long.  The kids woke me up an hour later and I tried to sleep through their morning commotion and arguing.

I got up a few hours later and before long, between being exhausted and worried, I was in tears.  Matt's not usually overly good at making me feel better when I'm upset - especially if it's something he doesn't understand, but while we talked, I figured out that I was really worried about the chance of not being home on Christmas.  I didn't realize that it was weighing on me like it was until then, but he had just the right words for me.  He encouraged me that no matter when this baby comes, even if it's on Christmas, we will be together and the kids will be ok with however it goes.  If we have to wait a few days to do Christmas together, we will. (a huge bonus in not doing Santa)  And then he just told me to do whatever I needed to do for me for this weekend... to rest and enjoy the kids and our time off together... and to trust God with the rest.

So I ate breakfast and lounged around and slept on and off throughout the day - snuggled with the kids on the couch - and enjoyed the last moments of being pregnant and feeling this little one move around inside of me.  And it was exactly what I needed.

We went to church this morning, on time for the first time in I don't know how long... I felt so much better after taking time to rest and also in letting go of what I thought would be best for timing of this baby's arrival.  My mind and body just felt lighter.

I don't regret asking for specifics, even if I didn't get them... I did the same with Rachel and most of the things I asked for, God said "no".  I've learned that it doesn't mean He didn't hear or doesn't care, but rather that His ways are not our ways, yet they are always better.

I know I've talked about this before, but you all know that the word "HOPE" was Rachel's word... it was the constant theme of my time with - and now without - her.  And I've mentioned a few times that this baby's word has been "JOY".

I didn't realize it until the year after Rachel died when I was sitting in church the weekend of her birthday and they lit the first Advent candle, that the first candle of the Advent season is the candle of Hope.  I hadn't even considered how she would be born in the first week of Advent, but every year that has been a very special way to start December without her - as I remember her and her life and death, I'm also being reminded of the hope we have in Jesus and in eternity because of Him.

Today, because God didn't answer my prayer to have the baby last week, I was sitting in church when they lit the 3rd Advent candle of the season... the candle of Joy!  Matt & I just looked at each other and smiled - and I started to cry.  I knew at that very moment that I was supposed to be there today.  The songs, the message - it was all just what I needed to hear.

As we sang Chris Tomlin's Joy to the World...

Joy, unspeakable Joy
An overflowing well, no tongue can tell
Joy, unspeakable Joy
It rises in my soul, never lets me go

I rocked this baby and felt his/her twists and kicks and relished in how amazing it is that I have a life inside of me... and that (s)he can hear me singing those Christmas songs.  And for as much as this baby wasn't moving on Friday night, it made up for it today!

But at the end of the day, what I feel is total contentment and trust in whenever God sees best for this baby to arrive.  I have gotten so much prepared and have a few things I want to get done still, but mostly, my one and only goal is to let myself rest in God as I bask in the joy of being pregnant... the fact that I feel exceptionally good physically and mentally for being 39 weeks along...  feeling this baby move around and how I alone get this sacred time with him/her... knowing that when God says 'no' there is a reason and it's always a better one than any reason I am asking for... and believing wholeheartedly that whatever He does decide is right will be amazing and I get to be a part of it.

During today's service, I was so thankful I was there (I didn't think I would be because I was sure I'd have had the baby before today!)  and got to see and hear the things I did that only confirmed for me how safe I am in God's hands... I was so humbled.  So thankful.  So overwhelmed with emotion.  God is so good to me.

And I hate even trying to write about any of this because words don't do it justice and I almost feel like they take away from what actually happened in my heart today at church.  But as I was leaving today, a friend said she would be praying for the arrival of the baby and for me to have joy through it... and she knew none of the above...

I just responded with a smile and said "unspeakable joy" - and I think that sums it up...

Monday, December 14, 2015

It's Almost Time!

I've been saying "I plan" on having this baby this Friday, the 18th - but that Wednesday would also be ok. And I might sound like I'm joking... but I'm really not!  LOL.

Of course you know I like to have babies on Fridays - I've had 4 of the 6 on Fridays so far and only Rachel's was scheduled by me... however, I do believe God knows what we need and Fridays work well for us pay wise for Matt to be with me.  This year, we have the kids school schedule added to the mix, which makes a Friday baby all the more convenient.

That said, this Friday is December 18, which is the day I was due with Silas, the baby I miscarried.  It is 9 days early, but I've had all of my babies except for Asa at least 7 days early - and they have all been close to 9 lbs.

A few weeks back, I started messing with numbers and realized that this Wednesday is 12-16-15 and if you add those together, it comes to 43 ♥  So I began saying I'd be happy with that day too.  

The reality is I will be thrilled with ANY day, time, way, situation I get as long as I don't have to say goodbye to this baby.  That said, I have some very specific prayer requests if you would remember me in prayer?  I know God could say 'no' to all of them and might, but I also know that my God is capable of all of this and so I'm going boldly before His throne and asking for His grace and mercy to help me in my time of need... 

So here we go....

I would love to go into labor in the early hours on Friday morning (or Wednesday if I don't make it that far) while Matt is still home so I don't have to chase him down at work (he can't carry his cell phone there).  Being a VBAC, I'm not supposed to labor at home and since this is my 7th baby and we have a long ride to the hospital, I won't stay long before I leave, but am hoping it's easy to get someone over to be with the kids.  I would like to be 5cm dilated upon arrival and to be able to have Kim (Rachel's nurse) there with me during labor and delivery.  I had an interesting experience with my epidural last time, so prayers for a safely placed epidural are needed.  I've been having breathing issues with my contractions - often I don't know I'm having one except that I can't breathe and then notice my belly is rock hard.  Please pray that I won't have trouble breathing through the real ones.  The way my contractions have been working also makes me super nauseous and I'm afraid I will throw up during labor, so please pray I won't get sick.  I would love to have Dr. Hunt for delivery (Rachel and Ezra both had her) and of course for a safe delivery, a healthy baby, and an easy transition with my hormones which always kick my butt.

Updated to add prayer requests...  Please pray that there are no complications with my brain aneurysm or my hernia.

I think that is all - no matter what, I'm due on the 27th which is just 13 days away so we are really close now...  I'm trying to get things done and it's not an easy task, especially with the added Christmas stuff to do.  But I think I'm doing alright.  It's just very hard physically at this point.  I'm ready to meet this little one... it's pretty much on my mind all day and night now.  I am having my 'nesting' splurge of energy, which is great for motivation, it just does nothing for my body's ability to accomplish it all!  But thankfully the baby won't have a clue that my house is a mess.  I'd be in trouble if baby's had opinions like adults do! lol - but all this baby will care about is snuggling and nursing and I can do both of those ♥  

I'm thankful for how God has prepared me for this time.  A few months ago, I was just detached, but He has gotten me ready and excited, just like he did with Rachel... and if He can do that with Rachel, I had no doubt He could do it with any other baby he gives me.  It's nice to be *in* it though and not waiting on it.  I still get nervous, that's just part of my life now... but I'm ok.  

I have another post or two I might try to get done before baby comes that have been on my heart for a while - if not, I guess the next one will be a gender reveal! :)  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lost and Found

I'm not sure if I blogged about it or just posted on Facebook about it, but back at the beginning of this pregnancy, Asa flushed my little silver daisy charm that said "hope" on it down the toilet.  It was the one I got at the woman's retreat where I gave my testimony of HOPE and also where I first told people I was pregnant with Rachel... it was the little token we used on my belly shots during my 25 week beach photos of Rachel's pregnancy.  It was super sentimental to me and I was really dumb to display it in the bathroom... but I literally looked at it every single day and thought about how much God loved me - how He had plucked me out of my addiction at such a young age and also how he had carried me while I carried Rachel.

When I realized it had been flushed, I plunged like crazy and stuck my hands as far down the toilet as I could trying to get it back.  I cried.  A lot.  I complained how things never go right.  I was so discouraged.  I can't remember everything going on at that moment in my life, but I know I was in a very rough place and that was the hair that broke the camels back.

On Wednesday, which was the anniversary of Rachel's funeral, I was having a hard morning, but was in a place of gratitude somehow... the toilet was backed up so I flushed and started to plunge and as I did, my mind wandered (as usual...) and I began thinking about Rachel's service.  I looked at the decor behind my toilet and saw the kids had been messing with it again and it brought my mind back to that little daisy charm that was flushed 9 months before...  I started thinking about HOPE and how I wanted to post a picture from her service on facebook, specifically the one of Matt & I worshipping during her service, and that I wanted to share that we praise Him no matter what because without him, we would be utterly lost.

And I kid you not, as I thought that, remembering how God gave us the faith to trust Him on that day, and was lost in appreciation of how God carried me through those hard days, I looked down, and there it was... the daisy HOPE charm!

Now, I'm not trying to over-spiritualize a clogged toilet... but this hit me hard.  I grabbed it and started cleaning it off and I couldn't help but cry.  December 9, 2010 was the hardest day of my life.  It was the day I left my baby's tiny body in the ground.  It was horrible and the night that followed it was even worse, as I sat here fighting myself to not go dig her up while I still could - fearing that someone else might and my heart ripping apart over how I couldn't care for her.  It was the most excruciating pain I've ever felt. EVER.  And on the anniversary of that day, I'm the only one who remembers or hurts from it.  Its mine to bear.  And I feel it each year.

But the crazy part of the entire thing that morning was that I was in such a good place for how hard my day was.  Nothing was going right and I was sad... but I was thinking about how much I needed God and how good He was to always be there for me at the moment that little charm revealed itself after all that time.

I couldn't help but think about if I felt that excited and that relieved to be 'reunited' with a little charm that's been covered in poop and pee for months - just imagine how unreal it will feel to be reunited with HER!  And that is my hope... that is what keeps me going... and on that day, 5 years after she was buried, God reminded me with a clogged toilet that it's only a matter of time.  When that charm was flushed, I thought it was gone forever and in a way, it was because it certainly didn't come back in the same pretty condition - but with Rachel, when I see her again, she won't be worse off, she'll be better off.  She will be whole.

So then remember in August how the night of the baby remembrance ceremony, I lost the memory card from the photos that my friend took for me?  Again, one of my lovely boys took it out of my computer and I couldn't find it.  I searched everywhere, but especially in my chair because that's where I had the computer.  And I finally had to accept it was gone. I honestly thought it was flushed down the toilet too since they had been doing that a lot this year.  I was so upset bc I wanted to make a nice video for the other moms and again was just so discouraged, feeling like nothing ever goes right...

Yesterday, we sold our living room furniture.  Again, changing things up for the baby.  Before the guy took the chair out, I tipped it on it's side to be sure there was nothing stuck in it and out fell a memory card... I knew right away it was *the* memory card... but seriously, I had already done that in August and so had Matt.  I tipped that chair, shook that chair, stuck my hands in it searching until they bled... and it was gone...  for a while.

The interesting thing is that the boys got a hold of my bag full of memory cards just recently and so I've been finding cards here and there for a week or two - and yet when I saw that one, I knew it was from the baby ceremony.  There was nothing special about it, just a plain 16 GB card... but I knew.

I'm not sure why sometimes God makes me wait like that... probably because I'm not very good at it and also probably a little bit to teach me how to let things go.  I was still able to remember God's goodness without that charm - and I was still able to make a beautiful video without that card because I had two people taking photos... but both destroyed me for a day or two.  I will say a day or two is a lot shorter than things used to bother me, so that's progress, but I would love to get to the place in life where I could care less about tangible things and rest more on knowing that I can't take those things with me anyhow and just focus on the things in my life that are eternal - which is caring for my relationship with God, for my husband, and for the little souls he has placed in our care.

As I prepare to meet this baby, waiting to know for sure I can take him or her home, after just celebrating and mourning Rachel's birthday, my heart has been overwhelmed with conflicting emotions.  I felt that God had confirmed for me early on in this pregnancy - before I even told anyone I was pregnant - that this baby would be okay.  But as one complication after another came up, I wondered if maybe he didn't mean here on earth it would be ok.  And so I haven't been able to just rest my mind for 9 long months and it's been so draining... and lonely.

But I think the timing of both of these things is just a loud reminder that even when I feel lost, he knows right where I am.  Even when I can't see the tangible proof that everything is ok, He is well aware of the details and will give me what I need, right when I need it.  You would think the way he saved me when I was lost and brought me into the light where I was found would be enough proof, but in my humanness, the little reminders on much smaller subjects are what keeps me remembering and I'm thankful for a God who will speak my language and not grow impatient with my continuous need to be reassured.  He is so, so good to me.

Friday, December 11, 2015


Rachel's birthday was hard...

We had done the baby shower for the other local family awaiting the arrival of their daughter Aerilyn who has anencephaly and was due on Rachel's birthday.  And although I invited my friends and family as a way of remembering Rachel as well, I honestly felt like it wasn't for her.  I think when I did the shower last year for the girl who was getting to keep her baby, I felt ok about making the day equally about Rachel - including a cake for Rachel and things of that sort.  But this shower was different.  They don't get to keep their little girl and I really just wanted the day to be all about her and them.  And in my heart, it was completely.  So, after it was over, I didn't feel like I had done my usual birthday for Rachel.  And since we also didn't deliver anything to the hospital this year, her birthday felt more like just another day - and that's the first time I've ever experienced that since she's been gone.  I know the people closest to me were thinking of her though and I'm *almost* to the place where that is enough for my heart - just not quite there.

I did a few things to represent Rachel there - I bought Rolos candy to put out, used the same basket for cards that we used at Rachel's shower (still decorated for her fall themed shower) and I bought 12 pink balloons and 3 star shaped balloons to symbolize the date that our girls share.

On the 3rd, I had SO much to do to get the decorating we usually do on her day accomplished that I felt like I ran around working my butt off all day long and being 9 months pregnant, I was exhausted half way through, but couldn't not finish it.  The older two were in school as well so we had to pick them up mid day and then deal with the usual homework and stuff.  I went to her PO Box and it was empty for the first time ever.  Our families don't acknowledge she was here or the pain I feel that she is gone except for my mom and sister (and that would be why they were the ones who got to meet her...)   Des made cupcakes that afternoon and we did sing to Rachel and put our Christmas tree up, but as night closed in, I got really sad.

I was starving to just sit down and *feel* all day long and I didn't have time.  The day before I had cried most of the day pretty heavily, so it's not like I hadn't shed a tear - so I don't know what I was hoping for or needing and that is the hardest part - often *I* don't even know what I want or need.  I just know it hurts and I just want relief from it and it seems like something should help that and if I figure out what it is, then the pain will let up...  but it doesn't.

Because I was such a wreck on the 2nd, Matt offered to take the day off for her birthday, which meant the world to me.  He was planning to work and I had planned to go it alone, but knowing he was willing to stay home and wanted to be with me for it was so good for my heart.  Plus, after doing all the work to get her grave set up and our yard decorated, I realized I would have never gotten it accomplished if I didn't have his help with the 3 little boys!  Being so pregnant really makes me much less capable of doing things I want to do and that's hard too...

So after everyone was in bed, I sat down and looked at my new arrangements in my living room... we have been moving stuff, selling stuff, changing things up to make room for the baby - and now the Christmas tree - and so my view from the couch was much different that night.  And I realized as I sat there, just how symbolic the entire scene in front of me was of how complicated my life is...

I have Rachel's hope chest - where I usually put out all her ornaments and can't because we don't have the piano so I had to consolidate what I could display.  Also, the boys managed to break one of my very first ornaments ever sent to me for Rachel and also one of my favorites before I even had them out of the box so they feel safer in her chest.  It looks pretty, it's just different.

Then we have our Christmas tree... it's time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior... it's time for gift giving, spending time with family, bringing joy to my kids and watching their faces light up with each gift they open... it used to be my absolute favorite time of year and filled with peace and joy and love and all the amazing things that come along with knowing the God is with us and He is so good....  And although I still know and BELIEVE that... my Christmases feel different.  They carry a little bit of sting that she isn't here - no matter which part of all the awesomeness I'm experiencing, it's there and I've come to accept it's just the way it's going to be.  It's still beautiful, it's just different.

And then we have the little dresser that I found on the side of the road back in the very beginning of my pregnancy that I finally recently painted and fixed up for our new Little E.  We have no room upstairs for this baby and so we have made space in a corner of our living room for his/her stuff and I'm doing my best to make it cute so I can feel good about it.  I do like it, it's just different.
Little E's "nursery" ♥
My friend Elisha showed up at Rachel's grave while we were there decorating on her birthday and gave me this Joy sign.  It matches the dresser perfectly and, of course, she didn't know that.  

But I looked at the three of these things together and I seriously sat there thinking about how crazy it is to have those three things all happening at the same time.  It was overload for my mind and heart to see memorial items for one baby, a evergreen tree symbolizing the eternal nature of our Lord who came as a baby, and then a little dresser full of baby clothes in hopes of bringing home another baby soon.  How does one person do all of this at the same time?  Polar opposites speaking loud and clear from both sides of my Christmas tree... emotions from every direction.  One minute I was answering someones message about Rachel and in the next minute, talking to someone else about a name or something they wanted to do for the new baby...

That night, it just overwhelmed me, but since then as I have walked past them daily, I think that in a way it's a good reminder of the hope I can have for both of my babies because of Jesus.  On one side I have the uncertain... will I bring this baby home?  And on the other, I have the certain... she is gone, but truly home...  And in the middle, I have the reminder that He is with me and He is enough for anything I go through.  

Preparing for this Christmas has been hard - in every way you can imagine.  Financially, mentally, emotionally and physically.  The kids being in school has turned an already busy time into a complete marathon of events and extras and I hate it.  There has been SO much change in our lives this past year, it's crazy.  New job, complicated and often scary pregnancy, the kids starting school outside our home, losing both my grandfathers, changes in the nonprofit... and I don't like change... I don't like different.

I could get disappointed that Christmas doesn't feel the way it used to - that I'm not capable of changing my emotions to fit the picture in my mind of how I like Christmas to be - or how so many expect people to be/feel/act at Christmas... or I can accept that God has given me a hard journey, a heavy cross, and a ton of blessings mixed in between -  and that yes, it's hard and yes, it hurts, and no, most people cannot comprehend and many will not acknowledge or even recognize any of that as they interact with me this Christmas - and I can thank Him for all of it because honestly, I know God in a deeper more personal way than I did when things were prettier, lighter, felt better... but my life wasn't better.  It wasn't more meaningful.  It was just different.  And as much as I miss the simpler days, I am glad things are different.  It's okay that different doesn't mean easier.

Taking care of her the only way I can for now...

Are they cute, or what?!

Missing my school kids

Me & Elisha
I changed the decorations this year.  I went with pink & purple because standing in walmart looking at the choices I said to Des, "Rachel would probably pick these this year..." and she agreed that a 5 year old would rather have girly colors.  I changed the stuff on her little tree on her hope chest for the first time since 2010 too and made it to match this one. ♥

Ezra & I read a book every day before nap called "Baby Born".  It's our favorite and it's about a baby born in the winter.  I have never talked to Ezra about Rachel while reading that book, but while we were decorating the tree, he picked up this ornament of Rachel, held it up and said "Baby Born!" A few minutes later, he did it again when he picked up a nativity scene ornament. ♥

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Can you play for me, Peanut?

The day Desirae was born, before they had even weighed her, my mom said "Oh, look at her long fingers, she's going to play piano!"  She doesn't really have long fingers and I'm not sure why I never forgot that, but it's one of the clearest memories from the day I became a mother.

Desirae took a year of piano lessons in 2009.  She picked it up quickly and loved it, so we continued... but the following year, I decided to pick up guitar lessons at the same place and for the next two years, we went together to our lessons and our home was full of beautiful, imperfect sounds.  The first year happened to be while I was pregnant with Rachel - and the next, the year after I lost her.

I almost forget that I was taking lessons with Rachel there with me, but I will randomly come across blog posts that mention me going to or starting my lessons again.  I only took a couple of weeks off after she died and went right back... I did the same with homeschooling... and honestly, knowing how I felt in my mind and heart back then, looking back, that seriously amazes me.

So, in 2010, after figuring out that Des indeed liked and wanted to play piano, we upgraded from her big keyboard and got a used piano that, even with all it's imperfections, made her and her mama smile... a lot.  I have absolutely relished in hearing my little girl play her songs.

Two years ago, she wanted to quit and being the mean mom I am who can see down the road better than she can, told her no.  It was part of her homeschool curriculum in my opinion.  She pushed through and that year, performed in a piano recital.  She hates playing in front of people so this was a big deal.  My whole family came to watch her and were all so impressed at how well she did... and my Grandpa was there and we went out to eat with him afterwards.  It was awesome.

This past year, she begged to quit.  She would hide in her room when the piano teacher showed up and she never practiced in between lessons.  I still forced her because deep down I knew she was meant to play piano... she has music in her.  She is gifted and I didn't want to let her just walk away from all her years of hard work.  But in June, when the lessons ended - so did the sounds of the piano in our home.  She didn't touch it again.

A couple of months ago, Desirae and Isaiah started school outside of our home.  This has been an incredibly difficult decision and transition for our family - and for as much as I hoped it would help my relationship with her by giving her space, it has done way more the opposite.  Our relationship hit an all time low, one I never thought I would ever see with us and it has stayed that way for weeks.  I have found myself daily wanting to pull her out and begging God to let me know if I made a mistake and if I am one day going to regret it - or if it will smooth out with time.  They are in a Christian school full of teachers I respect and trust - but I have yet to have peace about her being there and it's not changing...  being a mom is so freaking hard.

Recently, while trying to figure out where we were putting a new baby in our already very tight home, we decided it was time to give the piano away.  I second guessed it, but it just wasn't being used.  I asked Des if she thought she would use it anymore and she gave me a solid 'no'.  And since the baby is going to take up residence in our living room...  I posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted it.  And that night as I was confirming the plans for someone to come get it, I started to feel really sad about it...

I called to Des and as she turned to ask what I wanted, I couldn't speak... I motioned for her to come over to me and through a sudden onset of a flood of tears whispered "Can you play for me, Peanut?"

She looked at me and fell onto the couch and started to cry too.   Teenage girls are complicated.  But I totally get that....

I asked again... "Can you play me a song?  Do you remember how to play?"

She got up and without saying a word, pulled out a book and started to pluck slowly on the keys.  After getting frustrated, she put that book away and pulled out an older book... and slowly, she started to play... and slowly, the songs came back to her... and slowly, I watched her body change and it was as if a weight was lifted from her.

She is meant to play music... she needed that too.

I sat and listened and I couldn't stop crying.  I didn't totally know why, all I knew was that it wasn't something I was going to be able to stop.  I listened and cried as my big girl played for me for over an hour.

And when she was done, we sat and hugged for a few minutes and then watched a show together at 11pm, just because.

As I thought about my emotional breakdown after she went to bed, I realized a few things...  For one, we bought that piano while I was pregnant with Rachel.  I hadn't even thought of that, but it must have been in my memory deep down.  I remember telling my friend Jill that I was pregnant again after just showing her the piano we bought, which means we bought the piano in April or May of 2010.  That was the same day Isaiah disappeared on us and we had a neighborhood wide search happening, but that's a different story! lol.

I also remembered that I decorate that piano with Rachel's 1st Christmas tree each year... and that Desirae's music has lingered through our home during the most trying times of my entire life.  I realized that I myself have been far off from music, which is comfort to my soul as well.  I realized that the piano, and more specifically Desirae playing it, have been a consistent beautiful distraction to my pain... and I have dearly missed listening to her play.  Not only because it was relaxing and enjoyable for me, but because her deciding she no longer liked it was also a sign that she was growing up and that it wasn't going as I had imagined.... and has been way harder than I could prepare for.

I asked her if she wanted to keep it.  If I should tell the girl that we changed our minds.  I thought that perhaps I should get Rachel's hope chest out of my living room instead since Rachel is gone and Des isn't and Rachel doesn't care if I have her stuff displayed in my home.  I just wanted to do whatever this little girl needed...

She said to me "It's kind of strange that all this is coming up right now because today at glee club, I sat down and tried to play something and got really upset that I couldn't remember anything."

"Until your overly emotional mother asked you to play a song... ?"

"Yeah, until you asked me to play a song... now I don't want to stop playing..."

We talked about getting a big keyboard like she used to have... one with headphones and a pedal so she can play when the baby is sleeping.  And she is excited about that - so I'm happy with it.  I will miss the sound of a real piano filling our home - there's nothing like that - but as long as my girl is happy, I'm happy.

The next day, the original taker told me she couldn't make it and I was again faced with the option to back out.  I asked Des and we agreed that it was time to make a change so that the baby's stuff could fit cutely into our space.  Des is just like me on the interior design thing so she gets needing 'cute' - lol.  So I moved onto the next person able to get it quickly and yesterday afternoon, we cleared Rachel's photos from the top of it and emptied out her lesson books from the last 6 years and watched another family drive off with our piano... and it was ok.

We started setting up for the baby... which I don't tell her but it makes me nervous because if we do and the baby doesn't come home with us, that would kill me to have to move that stuff out... but I think it was the next step in our faith walk.

I'll have photos of the baby's corner in our living room later, but for now, I just wanted to share this one... I know words could never do justice to what was happening in my heart as I watched her play late that night, But I will forever be thankful for the way God worked in my home in that hour.  I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago now and hadn't posted it yet, but Des and I have been in a different place since this night.  I don't know how or why, but God is so, so good to us.